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Hair Replacement Systems: Do They Work?

Vicky Davis

Reviewed by Vicky Davis, FNP

Written by Our Editorial Team

Published 03/08/2021

Updated 03/09/2021

Losing your hair is scary, and when you realize it’s happening, you can enter full-on panic mode. 

Hair loss in men is quite common, but that doesn’t make it easier. And the sheer volume of “solutions” marketed online makes it difficult to know what treatments might be effective for you. 

Hair replacement systems are one such solution. 

They’re a legitimate camouflage method of treating hair loss, but may not be right for everyone. 

What Are Non-Surgical Hair Replacement Systems? 

For those new to the world of hair loss treatments, the phrase “non-surgical hair replacement systems” can be puzzling. What exactly are we talking about here? 

Put simply, non-surgical hair replacement systems are the toupees of old. They’re wigs. But not your father’s hair piece. Hiding hair loss has come a long way. 

In olden times, one man’s hair piece was likely quite similar, if not the same, to the next man’s — especially if they bought them at the same store. 

These toupees would be used to cover balding areas, and what natural hair remained would be combed over the wigs for hair loss to conceal it as much as possible. 

Now, it’s a different ballgame entirely.

Men struggling with hair loss can get custom-fitted for a hair piece, made with either synthetic or human hair. 

And there are numerous types of hair replacement systems, differentiated largely by what material makes up the base of the system.

Lace-front hair replacement systems are considered ideal, because fine lace is used to soften the hair line. Where the hair ends at the hairline, the lace is almost invisible, giving the hair piece a more natural look.

Polyurethane hair replacement systems use super thin polyurethane designed to be undetectable both to the touch and to the eye. 

Many hair pieces use a combination of polyurethane and lace, as well as silicon to mimic the appearance of skin.

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Effectiveness and Cost of Men’s Hair Replacement Systems 

How much you can expect to spend on a men’s hair replacement system depends on the materials, hair, and construction used. 

For example, some methods are so complex they can take six months to create the system properly. 

In cases like these, where a custom plaster mold is made of your scalp before human hair is hand tied into the system, you can expect to spend thousands of dollars.

In short, the more you spend, the more natural the hair system looks and the longer it lasts. 

Hand-tied human hair moves more naturally and allows for more styling options, but you’ll pay more for it — thousands of dollars, in some cases.

However, where standard one-hair-piece-fits-all styles may last three to six months, custom made human hair wigs can last several years.

The downside to even the priciest hair replacement systems is they may not be comfortable, and can cause itching or dermatitis.

Will you join thousands of happy customers?

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Before/after images shared by customers who have purchased varying products, including prescription based products. Prescription products require an online consultation with a healthcare provider who will determine if a prescription is appropriate. These customers’ results have not been independently verified. Individual results will vary. Customers were given free product.

Hair Replacement Systems Alternatives 

Non-surgical hair replacement systems aren’t for everyone. Ideally, it’d be great to have your natural hair back, right? 

While that may not be entirely possible, there are treatments for male pattern baldness, or androgenic alopecia, that could, at minimum, slow your hair loss. 

Finasteride is an oral medication that blocks the male hormone (androgen) responsible for hair loss in men who are genetically predisposed. 

It can promote hair growth and prevent further hair loss, according to scientific research. For the most part, it is well tolerated, though some sexual side effects can occur. If you’re considering this medical treatment, a healthcare professional can help you weigh the risks and benefits.

Topical minoxidil is a hair loss treatment you apply to your head. The positive effects of this medication have been proven out in scientific studies, and it’s approved by the FDA for the treatment of androgenetic alopecia.

Surgery is another alternative to hair replacement systems. 

Hair transplants, where hair is physically removed from a densely covered area on your body to the balding area on your body, is effective but invasive, and can cause scarring.

Micropigmentation or tattooing of the scalp is also considered a surgical hair loss treatment. These tattoos can fade with time and do not account for graying of the hair later in life.

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The Bottom Line on Hair Replacement Systems 

Non-surgical hair replacement systems for men have come a long way in the past few decades. 

For a few thousand dollars, you can likely get a very natural looking hair piece that allows you to swim and style your hair, and do all of the things you once took for granted. 

But it’s worth remembering that it’s still only a hair piece. And not everyone is comfortable with that. 

Chatting with your healthcare provider can help you determine if medical treatments for hair loss might be a viable alternative for you, if you’ve decided a hair replacement system is not the way to go.

5 Sources

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references.

  1. American Hair Loss Council. (2019, Oct.) Expert advice for men suffering from hair loss. Retrieved from
  2. Wake, G. (2007) Explaining hair replacement (non-surgical). The Trichological Society. Retrieved from
  3. Saed, S. et, al. (2016, Dec.) Hair camouflage: A comprehensive review. International Journal of Womens Dermatology. 2(4): 122-127. Retrieved from
  4. McClellan, K., Markham, A. (1999, Jan.) Finasteride: A review of its use in male pattern hair loss. Drugs. 57(1): 111-26. Retrieved from
  5. Suchonwanit, P., et. al. (2019) Minoxidil and its use in hair disorders: A review. Drug Design, Development and Therapy. 13: 2777-2786. Retrieved from
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Vicky Davis, FNP

Dr. Vicky Davis is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 20 years of experience in clinical practice, leadership and education. 

Dr. Davis' expertise include direct patient care and many years working in clinical research to bring evidence-based care to patients and their families. 

She is a Florida native who obtained her master’s degree from the University of Florida and completed her Doctor of Nursing Practice in 2020 from Chamberlain College of Nursing

She is also an active member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

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